Thursday, March 26, 2009


The other day I spoke to one of the instructors at EL Foster about "creativity and depression" and the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolley. I'm eager to read the book to talk to her about it. She told me the books is not often approved of by "right winged Christians". She described it as a book that has given her hope and makes her feel closer to God than ever before. It was a great conversation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First Aid Class and New Jobs

Today our PTO hosted Foster's first ever First Aid classes in Spanish and English. 20 parents in attendance, it was a great time of learning CPR, choking, first response and much more.

Not only did parents get an intro into First Aid but Carlos (instructor) got Niki a job as his assistant. It was great to see Carlos find a nitch at the school. Carlos is from Panama and we've developed a good relationship over the last year.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Conference on Being Externally Focused

Last week I was in Dallas, TX at the Externally Focused Conference. Here are some vlogs.

Why do You Do That?

The other day someone asked me, "why do you help others?" I told them I do it because I like to help people.

Another question I get asked a lot is, "what can I do to help?"

Let me remind you of Carlos. Carlos and I met about a year ago. He works at the Red Cross teaching First Aid. So a while back I mentioned how great it'd be if he taught First Aid classes at Foster. He said sure.

So next Tuesday Carlos will be giving a free seminar to 30+ parents in both Spanish and English on First Aid. He will being manequins to teach CPR and other basic First Aid. He is so excited and feels great helping other parents at the school.

So how can you help others? Here are some simple steps:

1. Start with something you love doing. I know a person who used to coach basketball that's thinking of how to use his coaching skill to help others.
2. Start with people you know. The reason Carlos' class works is because he's doing it with people he sees every day at the school
3. Connect people. Is there a way for example, to bring neighbors who are new to the neighborhood with the veterans. Is there a way to bring cultures together through food or music.
4. Do it for free. If you have to ask a friend or organization to cover basic costs, do a fundraiser, but keep the service free to people

So how can you stimulate the economy in a real way?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Parent at a Time (or Two)

picture: Little David and I playing music at EL Foster Elementary School.

This is the story of two parents we know at EL Foster Elementary School, Janeen and Lisa, who could have sent their children to their neighborhood school (fancy part of town, with all the frills that go with it). There's nothing wrong with that, but this is their story....

Instead they send their children (like we do, although we don't live in the fancy part of town), to EL Foster, a lower income, free/reduced lunch dual immersion school in the "rough" part of town.

Why do they do it?

A few nights ago, both parents came to our PTO (Parent-Teacher-Organization) meeting. We had over 20 people, 5 Spanish speaking parents and more. Carlos was there for the first time, I met him about a year ago. Shy, didn't speak much English, not very involved in the school, he's from Panama, his wife and him met there while she was there for a few years.

But on this night Carlos was very excited, he is a Paramedic and knows First Aid, and so next Tuesday, Carlos will be donating his time (normally $65/course) to teach First Aid to parents at EL Foster in both Spanish and English!

Miguel was also there, remember him from previous posts? He and his wife Maria and their friend were all at the meeting for only the second time this year. During the planning time of our Festival de Familias in May (May Fest), Miguel volunteered to organize games, sack races and balloon races, we'll give out a gift card to Country Buffet as a prize. He is all excited and called me today to begin planning.

We've enjoyed getting to know Miguel and Carlos, principal Ms. Leigh, vice principal Ms. Chumacero and teachers - Ms. Alma, Ms. Amanda, Ms. Amy, Ms. Rebecca, Ms. Valentino, Dr. Vizcarra (also from LA!) and many more.

Lisa and Jeanine both spoke to Rachelle today at school to tell her what a difference Foster makes in their lives. And that the meeting, seeing the different cultures coming together, hearing Ms. Leigh the principal, seeing me involved (male Latino in PTA! Unheard of!) all reminded them of why they are at Foster.

This stimulates parents to send their children to Foster, which makes us at 110% enrollment (mostly dual immersion) while the Middle School down the street is at 30%, which means we don't have to lay off any teachers during this economic crisis.

That's a real life stimulus.

Monday, March 9, 2009


This morning I called Trish (Joe's wife) to help Miguel (landscaping) with directions and translation. Trish needs some work done at her house, she also asked if Miguel's wife Maria did housekeeping and she does, so they hope to have Maria clean their house 2x/month.

Miguel is hopefully working right now. Yeah!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Clothes Center is Tomorrow

This Month's Community Services at Foothills Community Church
- Clothes (Ropa, diapers, etc) - Sábado, 7 de Marzo, 9-12n/Saturday, March 7th, 9-12n
- Food Pantry (comida) - Jueves, 19 de Marzo, 11am/Thursday, March 19th, 11am

Where: Foothills Community Church
8270 W 80th Ave, Unit 2
Arvada CO 80005

Miguel (pictured below) and his family, came today.